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NBC News reports rooftop where gunman shot at Trump was identified as a security vulnerability; Judge Cannon dismisses classified documents case against Trump; UTA professors refuse to comply with Title IX of abortion law; smaller ranchers voice concerns about USDA electronic tag mandates.

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Former President Trump is injured but safe after an attempted assassination many condemn political violence. Democrats' fears intensify over Biden's run. And North Carolina could require proof of citizenship to vote.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

Eager but cash-strapped farmers seek Farm Bill solutions

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Monday, December 11, 2023   

This story has been updated to include the correct name of the bill. An earlier version inadvertently mis-identified the legislation.


Advocates for America's small farmers say younger folks express a growing interest in agriculture, but
without necessary capital, they can't get a foothold.

More than 90 rural organizations are urging members of Congress to support the Fair Credit for Farmers Act. A new Farm Bill has been delayed, but supporters say the Act would help young and disenfranchised farmers access federal credit to run their farms.

Judith McGreary, executive director of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance in Cameron, says the regulatory system is not designed for small farms, which face huge uphill battles economically because farm land and equipment is so expensive.
Instead, she says the framework favors large-scale corporate operations.

"Unless you are either inheriting a lot from the farm, or a big corporate operation that's got backing from a company, it can be very hard to get started and really run it for the first several years," McGeary observed.

According to the National Family Farm Coalition, U.S. farm debt is at historic highs - currently
exceeding 500-billion dollars. Congress temporarily extended the current Farm Bill until September 2024.

McGreary pointed out that more support also is needed for USDA Farm Service Agencies - considered a "lender of last resort" - because they make ownership loans to family-sized farms that are unable to obtain credit elsewhere. She believes it's in the public interest to support small farms.

"Not only because they provide food for all of us, but because having small farmers holding the land and running economically viable businesses helps the entire rural community," McGeary emphasized.

A 2022 survey found 40% of U.S. farmland is expected to change ownership over the next two decades. Advocates for small farms worry without protections such as those in the Fair Credit for Farmers Act, corporate consolidation could accelerate and lead to the further decline of once vibrant rural communities.




CORRECTION: This story has been updated to include the correct name of the bill. An earlier version inadvertently mis-identified the legislation. (2:11 p.m. MST., Dec. 22, 2023.)


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